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- Strength: Much more durable than traditional fiberglass boards. While most hand shaped epoxy boards will ding and pressure though to a lesser degree than PU boards, molded epoxy boards like Surftech are ultra durable. You can be somewhat careless with your Surftech and not suffer the consequences of major dings and bruises. Some even claim to be nearly indestructible like my Dave Parmenter twinnie. The fellow who glassed it with epoxy resin, Charlie Price, claimed that you could turn the board upside down and jump on it with no damage (I didn’t attempt it). I did drop that particular surfboard onto concrete while showering at the beach and the only visible damage was a small scuff mark. Had that been a traditional fiberglass board, it would have shattered and broken off a piece of my tail.
- Paddling Power: Epoxy boards have a significantly higher buoyancy than traditional PU boards. Often times a shorter, narrower, & thinner epoxy board will paddle as well if not better than your fiberglass board. Thus, you can surf a smaller board with better turning ability and one that fits in the pocket.
- Durability: These boards have less tendency to ding and after a couple years you won’t find yourself surfing with a board resembling swiss cheese. Polystyrene foam’s characteristics keep epoxy resin from delaminating, a common problem with traditional fiberglass boards.
- Problems with windy/choppy surf: Epoxy boards work extremely well in smooth glassy surf but from my experience have proven to be quite horrible in choppy and windy conditions. I’ve taken this board out numerous times in slightly windy conditions (common in Hawaii) and due to the ‘floatyness’ of the board it seemed to catch every bump on the wave. Because these boards float very well, I never felt like the rail was engaged in the wave which forced me to back off on most of my cutbacks and turns. There have been times when my epoxy board left me feeling like a total kook and complete noob. But there has been major inprovments in this area with newer technologies. For example Firewire and TL2 surfboards were made to perform more like PU plus have the strenghth, durability of epoxy. Firewire also cliams their board will help you out on turns too.
- $$$ It’s all about the Benjamins: Epoxy boards are considerably more expensive than traditional PU boards. Hand shaped epoxy boards are slightly more expensive than their traditional counterpart due to the fact that epoxy is a pain to work with. Epoxy mold boards from companies like Surftech will cost you an arm and leg. Most Surftech shortboard models start between $600-700 US with longboard prices going for $800-900+.
- Bad for Shapers: The process of making polystyrene foam used in Epoxy boards releases less harmful chemicals into the environment but is way more toxic for shapers working with epoxy resin.
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